Helani Galpaya 24 Sep 2019 | CEPA Open Forum | Colombo, Sri Lanka
The draft National Digital Policy proposes a target of 70% of internet users by 2025, an undeniably ambitious target. The target – pulled out of thin air as though it may seem – is actually based on a time series forecast using ITU statistics from 2000-2017. The forecast was computed using a statistical software called Tableau, which considers exponential smoothing and seasonality. The lower and upper levels were based on 95% confidence intervals. The chart below shows that the upper limit that can be achieved is 74% by 2025 if accelerated efforts are made to drive internet adoption and smartphone use in Sri Lanka.
E-Resilience is a system property but poorly understood in Asia and the Pacific because it is understood almost exclusively in terms of continuity and recovery; the “bounce forward” adaptive role of E-Resilience remains uninvestigated doesn’t Included the fundamental enablers of E-Resilience, which are robustness, self-organization, and learning hasn’t fully employed diagnose and remediation programs to bounce forward; thus, ensuring improving telecom survivability/availability, rapid restoration of access to telecoms, real-time data services, dedicated public security networks, and proven business continuity and disaster recovery plans and procedures. VIEW SLIDES – “e-Resilience in support of emergency communication: best-practices.” These facts are worth considering for steering the AP-IS E-Resilience initiatives. As shown in Figure 1, resilience should elevate each additional state above the previous (initial) state. Nevertheless, I’m very excited to see UN-ESCAP AP-IS initiative taking two and half of the recommendations presented in the previous year; i.
Presentation on e-Resilience in support of Emergency Communications: best-practices; – 3nd session of the AP-IS steering committee and WSIS regional review meeting held 26th & 29th August 2019, UN Conference Center in Thailand. The event was part of the UN-ESCAP Disaster Resilience Week. Slides: waidyanatha_e-resilience(session5)_LIRNEasia
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has objected to the completion of the 12,971km Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), according to the Wall Street Journal. Once commercially launched in Q3 2019, the roughly $400 million PLCN system will plug El Segundo (California) with multiple Asian destinations: Aurora and San Fernando City (both in Philippines), Deep Water Bay (Hong Kong) and Toucheng (Taiwan). GU Holdings (a subsidiary of Google), Edge Cable Holdings (a subsidiary of Facebook) and Pacific Light Data Communication (PLDC) have teamed up to build this 144 Tbps capacity of transpacific cable, which is composed of six fiber pairs. It will be the first cable connecting Hong Kong and the U.S.
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay Much has been already written and debated about the 4th industrial revolution (4IR) and its far-reaching implications on virtually every dimension of human life. Some of the technologies that are central to this revolution include robotics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), nanotechnology, quantum computing, and biotechnology. However, there’s a widespread belief that it will be the Internet of Things (IoT) that will drive the fourth industrial revolution – and it is not hard to see why. A wealth of connected smart devices brings about an explosion in the volume, veracity, and value of available data, which is the precursor to the magic that can be unlocked through machine learning and intelligent predictions. [THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL PROLETARIAT].
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay Population growth isn’t simply new people entering the system [Core: FEEDING THE BEAST]. As historically high mortality rates plummet, the Asia Pacific has ended up with the problem of ageing populations – one of the reasons why US National Intelligence Council thinks we are living a Paradox of Progress. According to an analysis by the Asia News Network, three Asian countries already have ‘aged’ populations – more than 14% of the population aged 60 and above – and Japan is now ‘super-aged’ with more than 21% of the population aged 60 and above. By 2030, five countries in the region will be ‘aged’, three countries will be ‘super-aged’ and Japan will be ‘ultra-aged’ – more than 28% of the population aged 60 and above. While people keep getting older, there are serious questions about the region’s readiness to absorb such a large elderly population.
Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay The Mekong Delta Region is one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the world: it accounts for over half of Vietnam’s agricultural output and more than 90% of its export rice output, which in turn represents about 10% of the global rice market [Core: FEEDING THE BEAST]. However, the region, with its low-lying geography, is also one of the most vulnerable to climate change [Core: THE WRATH OF NATURE]. In fact, a recent delta-wide study has predicted that the entire Mekong Delta will sink underwater by 2100 at the current pace, triggering a large-scale humanitarian crisis. To understand the scope of this crisis, one must trace the Mekong River. It springs from headwaters in the mountainous regions of Tibet and arcs downward, its fruits enjoyed by China and many countries in the Southeast Asian region – including, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay Ever since the term ‘fake news’ entered the popular vernacular around 2016, it has been a topic of much debate, even leading to changes in legislature. Of course, advocates of free speech and democracy have long criticized the intentions behind such legislature, since they fear that such policies will only add to the toolkits of authoritarian regimes. One fact is unavoidable: fake news is a real problem in the APAC region. During the recent clashes between India and Pakistan, a flood of fake news spread across India containing videos and images that had nothing to do with the incidents. The issue worsened with some mainstream media republishing such content which fuelled a public outcry for military action against Pakistan in the midst of a heated election campaign.
Image by intographics from Pixabay In 1920, Czech playwright K. Čapek debuted R.U.R.: ‘Rossum’s Universal Robots’, showcasing a new artificial race of manufactured laborers.
Image by Charlie Wilde from Pixabay Solar power has been growing at an unprecedented pace over the past few years and shows no signs of slowing down. The International Energy Agency estimates that over the 2018-2023 period, there will be 575 GW of newly added Solar PV capacity – more than all other renewable sources combined. China alone will account for 46% of Solar PV’s growth. At first glance, it is not hard to see why solar energy is popular. Since it directly converts sunlight into electricity through the photovoltaic effect, it has no moving parts; its maintenance costs are minimal (other than keeping the panels clean); and it requires no additional fuel to operate the panel.
Image by Judith Scharnowski from Pixabay Asia is missing 163 million women. Let us clarify. At 105:100, Asia has long had the highest share of males to females in the population. Had this sex ratio been the same as to the rest of the world, demographers have estimated that Asia’s population would have comprised of 163 million more women than reported. [Core: FEEDING THE BEAST] The effects on India and China are magnified due to the sheer sizes of their populations.
Image: Stefano boeri Architetti Less than 10 years ago, Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, was an emblem of China’s growing problem of solid waste. Flooded sewage channels, pungent odors and a hideous landscape made the residents of Wuhan keep their doors and windows shut all the time. Before it was closed in 2005, the Jinkou landfill in Wuhan had accumulated more than 5 million cubic meters of garbage since its opening in 1989; even after its closure, more than 100,000 residents living in nearby areas had to deal with issues of gas pollution and pollutants leaching into groundwater. But in 2018, at the Guangzhou International Award Ceremony for Urban Innovation, Wuhan became one of five winners from across the world, showcasing the same waste dump – which had now been transformed into a lush green garden full of cherry blossoms. Aerobic ecological restoration technology had made sixty percent of the living waste biodegrade within two years.
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay The APAC region is home to a curious phenomenon: both malnourishment and obesity strike just miles from each other, often in the same city. The same play area that houses more than 480 million undernourished people also houses some of the highest obesity rates in the world. How can such a state of affairs exist? The APAC region deals with many complexities that stress food systems: population expansion [Core: FEEDING THE BEAST], large, unsystematic influxes of migrants and climate change-related disasters impacting water supply and food production [Core: THE WRATH OF NATURE]. On the other hand, there is the rapid rise of the middle classes and the new demands they bring to markets.
Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay Climate change debates and discussions around the world take different forms [Core: THE WRATH OF NATURE]. Some argue about what has caused it while some others discuss how best to navigate it without giving up many of the luxuries they already enjoy. The Pacific Islands lie at the front lines of the wrath of nature, and for them the time for such debate is past. In 2016, Fiji lost almost a third of its GDP when Winston – the worst cyclone recorded in the Southern Hemisphere – swirled over the country, leaving much havoc in its wake. A recent study commissioned by the US Department of Defense states that climate change will leave many Pacific Islands completely uninhabitable by mid-century.
Image by Rizwan Saeed from Pixabay Usually, climate change solutions involve highly technical solutions – carbon dioxide removal, greener energy production methods [Core: THE WRATH OF NATURE]. Pakistan is banking on a much simpler solution: planting trees. In 1947, when it gained independence, Pakistan had 33% forest cover, and by the end of 2015, it had dropped to 1.9%. In 2015, Imran Khan, the then head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party governing Pakistan’s northwestern province, announced the “Billion Tree Tsunami”, a monumental challenge of planting one billion trees by the end of 2017.